Residents and farmers of Tano South in the Brong Ahafo Region are calling on government to establish for them a tomato processing factory under the flagship one district one factory industrialization programme.
The president of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo in his campaign tour before the 2016 general election pledged to see the actualization of industrialization of Ghana as part of transformation process to create environment conducive for employment to absorb the youth since the issue of unemployment is so alarming.
One District, one factory programme was launched by the President, His Excellency Akufo Addo on 25th August, 2017 at Ekumfi in the Central Region, a campaign message the New Patrotic Party rided on highly during the 2016 general elections.
Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister for Finance reading the 2018 Annual Budget statement in parliament Wednesday said, “the Ministry of Trade and Industry has completed technical, financial and commercial viability analysis of 462 proposals out of which 191 covering 102 District were selected for implementation.”
Rite News Desk speaking to Mr. George Asamoah Amankwah, 2014 National Best Farmer and a tomato farmer at Tano South revealed that there is no ready market for their produce (tomatoes) therefore losing huge sums of money invested into their farms.
He added that due to government planting for food and job intervention policy through its supply of seeds and subsidize fertilizer to the farmers in addition to enough rain which he said has contributed positively to their production, makes tomato availability in high quantity.
According to him all their effort is going waste because buyers are buying a box of tomato for thirty Ghana cedis.
Mr. Asamoah Amankwah appealed that to avoid waste and post-harvest lost, government should establish a processing factory to take care of tomatoes from their local farms.
He added that the factory when bring to the area will enthused more youth into the agriculture sector because they will be sure that they have ready market for their produce without going waist.
He emphasized that industrialization is a key component of the agricultural sector which the country can’t go without as long as the agricultural value chain is concern.
He further lauded the government for bringing out such an initiative to support farmers, and said it’s a step in the right direction which will encourage farmers to grow more to enhance food security in the country.
Post-harvest loss across Africa is about 30% (approximately USD 4 billion). Tomatoes sector’s contribution to GDP is slim, coming in at 15%, according to the World Economic Forum Africa Competitiveness Report, 2015.
Value-added agriculture’s share in GDP comes in at just 11% for sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 30% in ASEAN economies. It is disappointing that despite its vast resources, Africa’s food staple imports are in the region of USD 25 billion per year. However, this also lays emphasis on the huge economic void for commercial farming and value- added agriculture.
Source: Austin Ofori Addofirstname.lastname@example.org